900 Bush PH5
As we first reported in August with respect to 900 Bush Street Penthouse Number 5:

In August of 1997 it sold for $449,000. In April of 2000 for $728,000. In July of 2003 for $779,000. And in May of 2007 it sold for $950,000.

Yes, up, up, up despite the series of short term holds.

Unsuccessfully listed and relisted six times since, penthouse number five atop 900 Bush Street has returned to the market as a short sale listed for “$700,000” with floor to ceiling living room windows, big views, and 1,077 square feet according to an old listing or two.

Last week the sale of the penthouse closed escrow with a reported contract price of $650,000, thirty-two percent ($300,000) under its 2007 value and back below 2000.
Up, Up, Up (And Down) Atop 900 Bush [SocketSite]

31 thoughts on “Don’t Blame A “Short Term” Hold For This Apple’s Fall”
  1. Great to see another greater than 30% decline. Back below 2000 pricing is an added bonus!
    Yes, yes, “My name is El Bombero, and I’m a Schadenfreudaholic….”

  2. It’s wonderful life. Teacher says that every time a bank gets burned, the bank tightens its lending standards.

  3. Pretty astounding. As I’ve often noted here, I hadn’t bought into the notion we’d see pre-2000 pricing. Adjusting for inflation, the 2011 sale price is 33% below the 2000 price. So much for the SF real estate inflation hedge concept.

  4. I’ve looked at many units in this building, including the penthouses (admittedly they were out of my price range but I like to gawk like many others). It’s actually a well-kept building with tight security and nice amenities. As far as location goes, Bush Street can get a little gritty but this area is fine. And if you work downtown or even in SOMA, you really can’t beat the location because it’s within walking distance.

  5. Time to fire up the wayback machine once again and return to 2009 and see what certain knowledgeable folks on this site said.
    From the thread on 214 Arguello: Two Years Later And Asking Twenty-Five Percent Less:

    …if u think SF prices are going to decline like LA, -30 to 40%, you’re smoking crack. This is bottom for SF, -10 to 25%, depending.
    Posted by: 45yo hipster at December 28, 2009 5:09 PM

    Now to be fair, that thread was regarding a $1.6M (circa 2007) condo and this is a mere $950K (also circa 2007) condo in a different neighborhood. But I’m sure there will be more examples coming.

  6. Yes, a big drop.
    2000 produced a lot of crazy results. Median was around 500K, jumped to 800K in 2007 when now we’re in the mid-600s.
    I think this property should have followed the median price. 2000 was an outlier due to to the “gottahaveit” lemmings of the dotcom years.

  7. Unit PH6 sold for 650k in 2000. The owner of PH1 that bought for $1.3 in 2000 is seriously upset at this situation. There are [3 or 4] condos in this building that seem to have gotten away from reality (welcome back to earth PH5), but otherwise the other units in this place seem to be trading more normally. Unit 1107 went from 190k in 1996 to 625k in 2003to 815k in 2007.
    640psf for this place seems like an OK price. But this building and the units are only going one place in terms of price. Amazing that there is even a buyer for such a unit really. Such a sad place.
    [Editor’s Note: Have you ever been in the building? If not, you might want to see Lori’s comment above before casting “sad” stones. And many of the units have rather nice views.]

  8. In the building a few times. Hated the dark corridor with angled turn every step along the way. HOA of $700 for 1beds, plus $4000 over 24 months for special assessment.
    Where have all that money gone? Give it 5 years and HOA would shoot up to $1000. I seriously don’t understand how they could blow through $200k a month and not have reserve. Some crooks running the HOA there. Last time a friend in the building got HOA to completely replace his hardwood floor for free. Don’t ask me how.

  9. “Editor’s Note: Have you ever been in the building? If not, you might want to see Lori’s comment above before casting “sad” stones. And many of the units have rather nice views.]”
    Serious? The “have you seen it in person” card. From you. On here. To Eddy, of all people.

  10. Bad building. competition has changed since this sold last. can get a newer unit in South Beach now. all the comments on the market down this much is not relevant on attractive places. i am seeing prices up.

  11. This is actually a great building. I’m an owner. I’m sad about the prices going down, but I don’t see them continuing to tank that much longer. Most owners are holding on to their units, renting them out until the market improves. Great location, great amenities, and very good internal management. No crooks on the HOA board that I know of.

  12. Pretty funny actually — people really getting their hopes up here. I’m sure there will be exceptions as long as you’re looking hard enough. Even in an up market. People can get desperate, anxious and lucky. Doesn’t mean they all will.
    I just refinanced and my unit was appraised at exactly the same price as last year. Only difference is $500 less per mo. on my payments due to the lower rates. It was a deal then, it’s an even better deal now. It just makes it that much easier for people to stay put and wait it out.

  13. Oh, and 900 Bush does have an in-house laundromat, a very well-maintained gym, 24/7 security (expensive – staff salaries), a spacious garage, a sauna and jacuzzi (with locker rooms). There were a lot of big expenses lately, hence the special assessment. As for the guy with the hardwood floor, it was probably caused by a plumbing leak on an upper floor, or some such, so the HOA agreed to pay.

  14. I would think 2007 would be a harder time to compete with South Beach than now. There was still a lot available brand new in south beach in 2007, and a lot of buyers had been sucked out of the sales channel by ORH and Infinity.
    ORH and Inifinty were brand new in 2007. Now, the carpet is worn, the walls are marked up. They’ve lost their new condo smell. Same with lots of other developments. This condo I sure is dated, but I doubt it seemed all that modern in 2007 against all those shiny new developments.
    The bigger problem was that the lucky buyer in 2007 just witnessed a gold rush for units in ORH and Infinity and probably felt this would do even better than those units. It was selling for less per square foot, yet had those tall ceilings, and reasonable HOA for the amenities provided. They probably figured it would do at least as well. ORH doesn’t even have self parking.
    It was a perfectly reasonable buy back then. This price seems a little low, but the air seems to be coming out of tech spring. I suspect that has more to do with this price than anything else.
    From the WSJ today:
    “For most of this year, a start-up fever, fueled by Facebook Inc. and others, has gripped Silicon Valley. But as the number of tiny Web companies riding the frenzy has mushroomed, some in recent weeks have found it tough to procure new funding, investors and entrepreneurs say. That is pushing some entrepreneurs to look for “bridge” financing to keep forging ahead, or to cut the valuations they are seeking, the people add. The average valuations of young companies have dropped recently”
    I’ve been seeing this recently. Our business to young or newly formed tech start ups is way down in the last 6 weeks or so. Some are starting to run out of money, so everyone has tightened up.

  15. I’ve been inside this bldg and several units and Lori’s comments when read with such a perspective make sense except for the amenities. The pool and workout room are sad. The security is tight because it has to be. This bldg along with the other sad developments on the van ness corridor are some of the worst places to buy due to the newer style of condos being built and generally preferred by most everyone. I helped a friend buy in this area last year and he ran from this place. He eventually found a great deal on a super nice condo with >1500 sqft for mid 600s.

  16. Yo brahama, 45 yo hipster is back, albeit 47 yo 🙂
    And my quote was basically spot on. ON AVERAGE, SF has fallen 10-25% (and I always excluded d10, soma condo boxes and high end homes- basically the median props most people buy in a wide range of decent hoods.) You guys can get excited about about this one and a handful of others. But there are counter examples of only -10% drops too. My condos and tic’s in the mission are only down 10%.
    All I know is that the investors market is brisk. A lot more stuff is cash flowing nicely in SF. Mostly due to: lower prices, low interest rates, higher rents. If you can buy something decent, bank finance it, and manage it, it’s a good time to buy investment props in the city. And stuff is moving! But mostly it’s an elitist market- families and peeps with ALOT of cash on hand. I’ll just bide my time until the lending environment improves. Sooner or later institutions are gonna get tired of sub %1 returns on their dough, and options for investors will return. In the meantime, the four hour work week is A-OK by me.

  17. “”depending” was meant for location. Normalizing data (ignoring outliers), D10 and soma down 20-25%, homes north of $1.2 mil in D5 & 7 down 15-20%, sub $800k tics and condos in D5 and the mish/bernal down 10-15%
    Posted by: 45yo hipster at December 29, 2009 9:15 AM

    Note that the house that was the subject of that thread, 214 Arguello, ended up closing 29% down in Feb 2010. The home was north of $1.2m in 2007.

  18. crazy comments today – the Editor saying “have you seen it in person” and solely relying on one owner who is obviously biased. Had the comment not meshed with his worldview than her comment would have been discarded.
    I’m also LMAO at the “it has a laundry matt in the building” comment. You realize that means no in-unit laundry.
    The reality is that a Bush St address in 8/A “Downtown” is on no one’s radar until they’ve exhausted all other possibilities.
    This building has been falling apart in recent years – leaks everywhere. They seem to have a handle on it now, but the HOA dues are higher because of it.
    This is the EXACT kind of place that would fall 30% to 40% from the peak. And the Arguello flash back comment is the kind of thing that is probably down 10-15%.
    If you are a buyer, and see this kind of price decline and are now licking your chops that you can get a similar price decline in “real SF” you are in for a rude awakening.
    Lastly – it is interesting that since 1997 this is essentially a 3% annual increase in price – “normal” real estate appreciation with a boom and bust in between. And it appear to be a true Apple over that entire time span.

  19. D7 2Bd Condo apples:
    2144 Broderick – ’04 $1,249,000 ’11 $1,295,000
    257 Mallorca – ’05 $1,030,000 ’11 $980.700
    2721 Sacramento St #B ’08 $1.4M ’11 $1.505M
    Not exactly SS style apples. Got to run – it wold be interesting to look for some from 1997 to compare to Bush

  20. Puh-leeze. Not the ol’ “Real SF” argument again!
    Anyway, here are a couple of recent “Real SF” SFR apples:
    Down 18% (down 26% in real dollars) – from $4.6mm in 4/07 to $3.775mm 10/11.
    Down 14% (down 21% in real dollars) from 1.85mm in 3/07 to 1.6mm 10/11.
    I agree that 40% off SFRs in D7 are going to be few and far between. But massive discounts are, and will be, many and often.

  21. Good to see the usual realtor spin here. I guess we are to believe that this one is down from 2007 because of location-which it had in 2007 (correct me if it moved), no laundry-same as 2007 (correct me if they removed it), etc.
    Then pointing out that this isn’t the real sf, etc. Classic.
    What do you make of this one: down 27% from 2010. You’d sort of think that things would be much more flat. Pretty decent neighborhood, too. Not in anyone’s list of usual suspects of locations for such a price decline. Sold for 1.105, now reduced to .859.

  22. tipster – the fact that you don’t get it surprises no one. But’s just cause – here it goes…. top of the market, any real estate is desirable cause after all it always goes up. And if you don’t act, well there were 10 other offers so see ya later. Act quick next time or don’t bother playing. Bottom of the market – take your sweet time and don’t buy unless you find the perfect place. Among the many standard items on the list of “perfect” is in-unit laundry.
    AT – you don’t like the “real SF” argument – I’m not saying one part of SF isn’t real and another is – all the “real SF” argument is saying is that location matters. your 2 apples down 14% and 18% prove my point – especially is that is the worst you can find. Meanwhile I found flat to slightly up or down. As a market that adds up to 7% to 9% down.
    it isn’t spin – it is friggin real estate 101.

  23. hangemhi, not the worst two I could find, just two that quickly popped up from the last week.
    Also, it’s really down 21% and 26%. As we get farther away from the peak years with continuing declines, inflation (which is compounded) matters more than it did in, say 2009, after a period of zero-inflation and deflation.

  24. is it “really down” that much? i don’t buy the inflation argument – for one you have to trust the gov’s inflation numbers, and you have to assume that wages of the buyers were flat, and they’re other assets also didn’t go up. in our two-tier economy the rich are getting richer and often far out pacing inflation.
    2Bd Condos in Russian Hill
    54 Allen – ’06 $1,075,000 ’11 $1,057,000
    2918 Van Ness #1 – ’04 $881k ’11 $850k
    So I can find apples too.
    As for tipster’s apple on 25th Ave – the buyer in ’10 apparently thought the market went up 12% from ’07 instead of down 12%. Now they are discovering how stupid that was. And let me guess – 841 25th Ave was not featured on SS in 2010 because it was up so much. Time to feature it because it paints the lopsided picture that you guys like to present.

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